Lab Company


The Hangar Theatre is currently celebrating its 44th year as a leading regional theatre in New York State. Since 1989 the Hangar Theatre has been home to the Hangar Lab Company, a nationally recognized theatre training program. Designed for advanced college students and early–career professionals, the program offers intensive hands-on training in a repertory environment.

As a Lab Company member, you will spend the summer at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY and the newly built Cherry Artspace. With meticulously curated tracks for actors, choreographers, directors, and playwrights, Lab Company members will enhance their craft through classes, rehearsals, projects, and performances taught, led, and directed by guest artists, Hangar staff, and a quartet of directing fellows selected by the prestigious Drama League Directors Project.


 View testimonials from former Lab Company members

Check out the following video for a first-hand account of the Lab Company experience.


Perhaps the most unique and valuable aspect of the Hangar Lab Company is the opportunity to collaborate, learn from, observe, and assist the four visiting Drama League Directing Fellows. The alumni of the Drama League Directing Fellowship includes such names as Diane Paulus, Sam Gold, Michael Mayer, and Moritz von Stuelpnagel as well as the Artistic Directors or Associate Artistic Directors of over 60 theatres nationwide (including Hangar Theatre Artistic Director Michael Barakiva. Hangar Lab Company members get to meet and work with these directors very early in their careers – an invaluable opportunity to collaborate with the artists who will help shape the future of the American theatre. 


2015 Drama League Fellow Annesha Kudtarkar directing Lab Company actors


Each actor in the Lab Company is guaranteed three roles in a fully-designed production during the summer. All Lab Company Actors perform in both our experimental second stage theatre, known as “The Wedge” (which will perform this summer in the brand-new Cherry Artspace!) and our Theatre for Young Audiences “KIDDSTUFF” series (under the direction of the four Drama League Directing Fellows). Some 2018 Lab Company members will even have the opportunity to perform on the Hangar Mainstage in productions of Chicago and Pride and Prejudice.

In addition, actors are assigned to Studio Projects throughout the program (Directors’ projects, dance pieces choreographed by our Lab Choreographer, etc.).

While other summer training programs expect actors to spend hours backstage or performing other administrative responsibilities, the Hangar Lab Company takes a wholly different approach. We believe that the best training is hands-on, so as a Lab Company member, all you will do is engage with your craft - all day, everyday. The Lab provides an extremely rigorous schedule under which actors can expect to be in classes, rehearsals, projects or performances all day long, six days a week. Many former Lab Company members have described the experience as “Acting Boot Camp!”

2016 Lab Company member Xavier Burek Clark performing in WEDGE production of Salome

The designers of Salome were from the Hangar's 2016 Design Fellowship Program. Sets by Matthew S. Crane, Sound by Almeda Beynon, Costumes by Danita Lee, and Lights by Emily Clarkson. 


Lab Company Directors each serve as an Assistant Director  on one Mainstage show, as well as assisting the Drama League Directors on one show in our experimental Wedge series and  one show in our KIDDSTUFF season.  In addition, the Lab Company Directors direct a Studio Project of their own choosing featuring Lab actors.

The Lab Company Choreographer will serve as an apprentice choreographer for our mainstage production of Chicago and assistant choreographer on our Next Generation musical (featuring young actors from the local community).  They will also choreograph an original Studio Project of their own choosing.

In addition to classes with the full Lab Company, the Lab Directors and Choreographer participate in separate sessions specifically geared toward directing and choreography. As assistant directors and choreographer, they are mentored directly by the Hangar artistic staff and visiting artists. The Lab Directors and Choreographer are encouraged to play, experiment, work, and take risks all summer long.


Members of the 2015 Lab Company working on a Director’s Studio Project


A pair of playwright/dramaturgs will work alongside the Lab Company Actors, Directors, and Choreographers, as well as collaborating with and learning from the Drama League Directors, actors and directors from the Hangar’s mainstage season and the Hangar’s artistic leadership.

Because we believe that there is no form of feedback more useful for a playwright than hearing their work read by great actors and rehearsed by great directors, the Hangar Lab Company Playwriting and Dramaturgy track focuses on the exploring the role of the playwright/dramaturg as a collaborative artist. Lab Company Playwrights will serve as dramaturgs on Mainstage, Lab Company, and Wedge productions.  In addition, they will collaborate with both the Drama League Fellows and the Hangar’s Associate artistic Director on developing their own original plays, culminating in a reading that utilizes Lab Company actors and local artists.  


The Lab Company is a tuition-based program. Tuition is $3,000 for the entire summer program (not including the cost of housing). Lab Company members may elect to find their own housing, however housing can be arranged through the Hangar on the campus of Ithaca College and/or the historic Cornell campus for an additional fee of $850. Both Campuses are located within walking distance from downtown Ithaca. 

Transportation is provided although Lab Company members who are able to bring their own cars are encouraged to do so. 

A limited amount of need-based financial aid is available to qualifying applicants. Please see application form for more information on applying for financial assistance.* 

*Scholarship support provided in part by the J.M. McDonald Foundation and the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust


The Company is very selective and will include about 24 artists in residence in Ithaca over the summer.


Click Here for Application and Audition Info

2015 Lab Company members performing in a KIDDSTUFF production: Red Riding Hood 

The designers of Red Riding Hood were from the Hangar's 2015 Design Fellowship Program. Sets by Dan Daly, Sound by Garrett H. Hood, Costumes by Camilla Morrison, and Lights by Topher Stumreiter.

Photos courtesy of Rachel Philipson (find more at

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